Namibia pledges to implement children's rights in education

07 Sep 2015 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 07 SEP (NAMPA) – The Namibian Government has pledged to observe and implement children's rights and ensure that education develops children countrywide.
Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Ester Anna Nghipondoka affirmed Government’s commitment in a speech read on her behalf during the opening of a one-day workshop for All Agents of Change in Namibia on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that discussed the 'Child Rights, Classroom and School management' programme on Sunday.
Nghipondoka noted that since the country ratified the United Nations (UN) CRC in 1990, the learner-centred education approach and other Namibian education policies were blended in well.
“I am proud to mention that the government of Namibia has already gone miles in this important endeavour,” she said.
Nghipondoka, however, noted that Namibia is facing a big challenge in the implementation of children's rights in all schools, homes and communities in the country.
She stressed that the commitment to provide the three Ps - protection, provision and participation - of children is envisaged by the mandates of her ministry, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, and the Ministry of Safety and Security.
The minister emphasised that the learner-centred education approach is crucial in the teaching and learning environment in Namibian schools.
“The environment for learner-centred approach can only be achieved when we observe children's rights to participation, protection and provision,” she said.
Nghipondoka said her ministry has to ensure the provision, protection and participation of Namibian children with adequate resources and opportunities.
She thanked the government for the Universal Free Education, which is an indication towards CRC-provision to the Namibian child.
The government in 2014 implemented free primary education and is currently preparing for the implementation of free secondary education in 2016.
“We appreciate this as it contributes to creating schools in Namibia that are conducive for teaching and learning,” she noted.
Nghipondoka emphasised that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders in education to see the implementation of children's rights in the country.
She noted that there is a need for CRC ideals to influence the curriculum development and writing of textbooks in the country, and to set up a target to achieve 100 per cent child friendly schools in all 14 regions.
This workshop was sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
About 32 staff members in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture consisting of deputy directors, lecturers, inspectors of education, education officers, school principals and teachers were trained by Sida to assist in the improvement of the national capacity in the implementation the CRC ideas.